Study suggests humans mated with Neanderthals
2010 05 01
By Clara Moskowitz | CSMonitor.com
Humans today could be part Neanderthal, according to a new study that found our ancestors interbred with an extinct hominid species some millennia ago.
Neanderthals walked the Earth between about 130,000 and 30,000 years ago. While they co-existed with modern humans for a while, eventually they went extinct and we didn’t. There has been intense scientific debate over how similar the two species were, and whether they might have mated with each other.
A reconstruction is shown at the Neanderthal Museum in Mettmann, Germany, where the first remains of Neanderthal Man were found in 1856. A new study has found signs of ’some significant amount’ of interbreeding between early humans and Neanderthals.Newscom/File
"The issue has been highly contentious for some time," said University of New Mexico genetic anthropologist Keith Hunley.
Last week at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in Albuquerque, N.M., Hunley and colleagues presented the results of a new study that found evidence for interbreeding between modern humans and some other extinct ancient human species – either Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) or another group such as Homo heidelbergensis. The research was first reported by NatureNews.
The researchers looked at DNA samples from humans living today, and found signs of leftover Neanderthal genes introduced from this interbreeding. They looked at genetic data from almost 2,000 people around the world, and calculated how much genetic variation existed between samples. The results indicate that some extinct group of hominids mixed their genes with ours at two points in history, Hunley said.
One period of interbreeding probably occurred shortly after Homo sapiens migrated out of Africa around 60,000 years ago. The researchers found an excess of genetic diversity in all modern people except Africans, suggesting that the influx of Neanderthal-like DNA came after the exodus from Africa.
A second period of interbreeding is suggested by the fact that the researchers measured even more genetic diversity among people of Oceanic descent – people from Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea and other Pacific islands.
"I think we show there’s clear evidence in the genome of living people of this mixture," Hunley told LiveScience. "The fact that there’s a clear signal implies that there was some significant amount" of interbreeding, he said.
This work is the first time scientists have used DNA from living people to look at this question, Hunley said.
In an earlier study, Erik Trinkaus of Washington University in St. Louis found suggestions of Neanderthal and modern human interbreeding by comparing ancient bone fossils from the two species.
Trinkaus said the new work fits into his findings, though he hasn’t reviewed the details yet since Hunley’s paper has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal. "The conclusion makes sense and fits with the majority of the data available," Trinkaus said.
Another anthropologist who has studied Neanderthal anatomy agreed.
"I have been arguing for this position throughout my career, ever since I began to study Neandertals and other populations," said Milford Wolpoff of the University of Michigan. "It has always seemed clear that some Neandertal anatomy appears in living populations."
Not everyone, though, will be easily convinced yet, Hunley said.
Article from: CSMonitor.com
X Woman: Not human, not Neanderthal, what is she?
Fossil DNA tells tales of red-haired Neanderthals
Scientists believe that Neanderthal Man was not related to Homo Sapien (Video)
Neanderthal DNA degradation (Video)
Human Likely Killed Neanderthal, Weapons Test Shows
Scientists unravel Neanderthal genome
Return of the Neanderthals
Neanderthal, Human Ancestor Could Chat
Neanderthals: More Advanced Than Thought?
Some Neanderthals Were Redheads
Researchers may remake Neanderthal DNA
Early human relative predates even dinosaurs
Lloyd Pye - Everything you Know is Wrong (Video)
Latest News from our Front Page
Pope Francis named Time’s ‘Person of the Year 2013’
2013 12 11
Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pontiff, elected nine months ago, was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2013, leaving whistleblower Edward Snowden in second place, the magazine revealed on Wednesday.
The iconic title goes each year to the one chosen by prominent US magazine Time as the individual who had the most influence on the world and news over ...
Equal Opportunity Killing
2013 12 11
Nancy Pelosi called it the “selfie of the year": the group snapshot of the first four women to make it through Marine infantry training.
"Fearless," as Pelosi describes them. "Badasses," as onlookers have labeled them. Here is an acerbic quote from an article on Gawker:
These women have now definitively proven what fatuous Congressional oldsters for so long prevented other women from ...
(NOOOOOOOO!) JPMorgan files patent for Bitcoin-style payment system
2013 12 11
These guys never stop. I respect that about JP (in the way that I respect the Empire in Star Wars) and there is something to be said for an idea so disruptive that it attracts the sharks at JP.
But given this, if one doesn’t trust Bitcoin, don’t even consider trusting JPMorgan’s version of it.
(From The FT)
JPMorgan’s proposed system involves creating ...
New ‘Revelations’ on Kenya Mall Massacre: There were only FOUR shooters – who escaped alive
2013 12 11
21st Century Wire says…
From the onset, the Kenya Mall Massacre was riddled with odd circumstances and dramatised media coverage, so much so that it is very difficult not to skeptical about the official narrative of what happened, and who was involved. That narrative continues to unravel…
As 21Wire reported in late September, the attack which took place at the Westfields Shopping ...
Record outdoor radiation level that ‘can kill in 20 min’ detected at Fukushima
2013 12 11
Outdoor radiation levels have reached their highest at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant,warns the operator company.Radiation found in an area near a steel pipe that connects reactor buildings could kill an exposed person in 20 minutes,local media reported.
The plant’s operator and the utility responsible for the clean-up Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) detected record radiation levels on a duct which connects ...
|More News » |